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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"


In effect, then, Locke does not consider the learning done
in school as education at all. Education in his view can only
be properly carried on when the boy is dealt with as an
individual. " Each man's mind has some peculiarity as well as
his face,"* and there can be no education unless this be taken
into account. " Let the master's industry and skill be never
so great, it is impossible he should have fifty or an hundred
scholars under his eye, any longer than they are in school together ;
nor can it be expected, that he should instruct them successfully
in anything but their books; the forming of their minds and
manners requiring a constant attention, and particular application
to every single boy."f

And now let us see what kind of education Locke wants
" every single boy " to get. In accordance with the maxim,
" a sound mind in a sound body," " the clay cottage," as he
quaintly calls the body, must receive proper care ; and Locke
prescribes at length the^hardening measures necessary " to keep
the body in strength and vigour so that it may be able to obey
and execute the orders of the mind."J Then he proceeds to
consider the essential part of education. " That which every
gentlemen desires for his son," he says in a passage that shows
his Puritan bent, " besides the estate he leaves him, is contained
in these four things, virtue, wisdom, breeding, and learning."^
The grouping is interesting. First there is virtue, the peHecHbn
of mind that is evidenced by the fact " that a man is able to deny
himself his own desires, cross his own inclinations, and purely
follow what reason directs as best, though the appetite lean the
other way." i| This is the aim of education on the individual
side. Next come the two social qualities which Locke calls wisdom
and breeding. Wisdom means the capacity for managing one's
business in life properly, and breeding (that is, good breeding)
the capacity for conducting one's self weU in social relations.
Learning comes last, because though necessary it is subsidiary
to all the rest*

But with curious inconsistency, when he comes to deal with
the details of the boy's education, he has very little to say about
the teaching of right conduct. Moral education, for him, resolves
itself into having a true notion of God, speaking the truth, and
being good-natured. With regard to the training in practical

*  2i<x             t  TO.             J  31*    .         1  134*             I  $?